TORONTO, April 28, 2023 – Marking the annual National Day of Mourning, a new poll shows that the majority of Ontarians remain aware of their right to refuse unsafe work while on the job.
According to a poll administered by Leger, *90% of respondents said they were aware of their right to refuse unsafe work. The survey results show that people doing manual work and skilled trades were among those with the highest awareness.
Additionally, people aged 55-64 had the highest awareness among all age groups, with 97% saying they know they have the right to refuse unsafe work. The youngest cohort surveyed, people aged 18-24, reported the lowest awareness, with only 87% aware of this right.
“It’s hopeful to see so many Ontarians familiar with their health and safety rights and responsibilities,” says Rodney Cook, Vice President, Workplace Health and Safety Services. “We also know there is more work to do, including helping businesses create the best possible health and safety conditions in their workplace.”
Last year in Ontario there were 242 work-related deaths recorded, including 11 related to COVID-19.
“Even one death is too many,” says Cook. “Until we can report zero fatalities, we will be here to help businesses take proactive steps to make their workplaces safer.”
The WSIB’s Health and Safety Excellence program is designed to help make workplaces safer, while providing rebates on WSIB premiums. Through the program, businesses can see the dollar-for-dollar impact that improved workplace health and safety has on their bottom line. Businesses of any size can enroll in the program on the WSIB’s website and benefit from enhancements ranging from reduced injuries and illnesses to stronger health and safety cultures.
In commemoration of the Day of Mourning the WSIB created an awareness campaign, which has been shared via broadcast, radio, social media, and its website.
April 28th was chosen as the date for the National Day of Mourning in 1984, when the Canadian Labour Congress proclaimed the Day to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the day the first Ontario Workers’ Compensation Act was approved by the government. The Day of Mourning was enshrined in national legislation by an Act of Parliament on February 1, 1991.
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*This survey, commissioned by WSIB Ontario, was conducted using Leger’s online panel between April 21 and April 23, 2023, with 1,000 adult Ontarians. Leger estimates a probable margin of error of ±3.1%, 19 times out of 20.